A large section of the city saw brownish water flowing from its taps Monday after a major break in the line near Down and South streets.
“It’s the color of coffee,” said resident Sue Gorski.
The water department said the break, slated for repair by late Monday, left about 25 homes without water and many others seeing discolored water.
The normal clarity of the water, all of which is safe, was disrupted by the high volume of the leak, which stirred up sediment in the pipes all the way west to the Terryville line.
Water Superintendent Rob Longo said the water was safe despite the coloration.
“We know it is not appealing, but it should clear for customers soon,” he said late Monday afternoon. Its safety “was never jeopardized,” he said.
Crews were working on the break Monday afternoon and hoped to fix it sometime in the evening.
The department said that anyone experiencing discoloration after the repairs are done should “run the cold water from an outside faucet or your bathtub until it runs clear.”
Longo said water crews “will flush some hydrants in the area” after the break is repaired.
But, he said, “because the break caused such a large flow across the city, it may take some time for it to clear up everywhere.”
Rust and mineral deposits can accumulate in water mains, the department said, but normally lay dormant.
One suggestion the department offers for anyone whose clothing was in the laundry when sediments are stirred up might be able to remove any discoloration by adding a quarter of a cup of cream of tartar with regular laundry detergent.